LIFESTYLE I N S P I R AT IO N F OR HO M e , G A R D E N & l e i s u r e
AN HISTORIC HALL HAS BEEN RENOVATED AS A STORE AND LOFT HOME
small-town living a short drive from the city
OUTDOOR LIVING AREA BLENDS RUSTIC CHARM WITH MODERN COMFORT
A PORT BRUCE home IS INFUSED WITH THE PERSONALITIES OF ITS OWNERS
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Lifestyle Online see lifestyle online at
In a Sifton neighbourhood. Experience The Difference of City Savvy, Country Comforts.
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In a Sifton neighbourhood homeowners will experience the difference of our expertise with a new home in a subdivision that is esteemed and sought-after for a lifetime. Coming this Fall
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Timberwalk in Ilderton is the ideal location for those seeking the solace and peacefulness of countryside living without sacriﬁcing all that the city has to offer. Timberwalk offers large country estate lots to accommodate backyard playtime, beautiful gardens and outdoor entertaining alike. Located on the cusp of London’s west-side, Timberwalk is just a short drive to every modern convenience and is a perfect choice for growing families. Ilderton | 50 - 60 foot single family home designs | from the $300’s
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JULY / AUGUST 2013
I N S P I R AT IO N F OR HO M e , G A R D E N & l e i s u r e
F E AT U R E S
PUBLISHER Lana L. Breier
LIFESTYLE DISTINCTIVE PROPERTY FOR SALE - HENSALL LOFT & STORE
SUMMER 20I3’S HOT HUES 15
BUILDING CHARACTER - 19 A PORT BRUCE HOME IS INFUSED WITH THE PERSONALITIES OF ITS OWNERS
Beth Stewart Heather Toskan Ellen Ashton-Haiste Kym Wolfe
LONDON ALIVE WITH CULTURE 25
Wilma Van Vaerenbergh 519-476-5571 email@example.com
ACCOUNT MANAGERS Beth Moyer 519-686-0951 firstname.lastname@example.org Jan McGrath 519-243-2932 email@example.com Barb Houston-LeClair 519-317-8482 firstname.lastname@example.org Lorraine Lukings 519-520-7676 email@example.com
GRAPHIC DESIGN Editorial Design: Mary Johnston Graphic Design Production and Ad Design: Nancy Greenfield Ad Design: Bill McGrath
15 37 GRAND BEND’S AQUAFEST 38 BACKYARD GETAWAY - AN OUTDOOR LIVING AREA BLENDS RUSTIC CHARM WITH MODERN COMFORT 43 SIFTON’S TIMBERWALK DEVELOPMENT IN ILDERTON 46 HARBOURFEST IN PORT STANLEY
DESIGNING VISION - KATE GIELEN 27 TURNS A FLIGHT OF FANCY INTO REALITY FOR ONE HAPPY HOMEOWNER WOMEN ON WHEELS 29 8
48 DREAM RENOVATION 1970S-ERA HOME MAKEOVER 54 REVITALIZING YOUR APPEARANCE - SURGICAL AND NON-SURGICAL ANTI-AGING TREATMENTS 58 ONE MAN, MANY HAMMERS ARTIST SCOTT MCKAY 27
Richard Bain John Morse
Sean Hunt - www.Ecoworks.ca Lifestyle is published six times a year by
2251632 Ontario Inc. c.o.b. Lifestyle Magazine R.R.#1, Eden, ON N0J 1H0 P: (519) 866-5949 Copies are distributed to selected homes in London and area and in local businesses.
Canada Post Agreement #41277015 No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The publisher accepts no responsibility for unsolicited material. All rights reserved. Printed in Canada.
L I F E S T Y L E I N S P I R AT IO N F OR YO U R HO M E , g a r d e n & l e i s u r e JULY/AUGUST
KEITH HUNT CONSTRUCTION LTD. New Home Construction, Renovations, Additions
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As life becomes busier and time is increasingly valuable, more people are trying to simplify their lives. Many of us dream of buying a cottage getaway near a lake, but the work involved in maintaining two homes separated by long distances prevents many people from following through. A trend that began a few years ago of combining a home and a cottage seems to be gathering momentum. Whether you live near a lake, in the country or in the suburbs, it's possible to create the sense of a getaway through creative landscaping and home design. In this issue of Lifestyle, we've featured several properties that combine the getaway-athome concept. Writer Ellen Ashton-Haiste has profiled a home in Port Bruce that was designed by the owners Doug Singbush and Susan Jarmain. Modern in design, the home encompasses views of Lake Erie and features natural finishes, such as a bathroom floor made of beach glass. Many of the colours used in the home mirror the hues of the lake and sky, creating a symbiotic relationship between the indoors and outdoors. In Ilderton, Jen LeClair and Bob Vanhouwelingen decided to bring the cottage to their backyard. Old and new were mixed in an outdoor living area that encompasses a kitchen, a swimming pool and a covered patio with a wood-burning fireplace. What sets the retreat apart is the homeowners' desire to integrate rustic elements such as reclaimed wood timbers into the design. Other interesting renovations in this issue include a year-long makeover to a home near Aylmer. Custom murals, archways that connect rooms and colours evocative of autumn have added to the owners' enjoyment of the home. And in downtown Hensall, an unusual loft apartment was created from an historic hall. The owners – enthusiastic collectors – could see the potential and proceeded to work cast-off architectural elements into the design, creating a home that is at once individual and universally appealing. While spending time at home is always a relaxing option, you'll probably want to take in some summer festivals. We've included two – Aquafest in the Grand Bend area and Harbourfest in Port Stanley, which will feature three days of tall ships and musical entertainment.
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Su O m pe m ni er ng 20 13
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distinctive properties for sale
AN HISTORIC HALL HAS BEEN RENOVATED AS A STORE AND LOFT HOME By Ellen Ashton-Haiste “Primitive” is the adjective Paul Le Clair uses to describe his Hensall, Ont. loft. But country charm with a rustic ambiance may be a more appropriate description for the home he and Gillian Mitchell have created above their Pine Sampler reproduction furniture store. The historic Odd Fellows Hall, on the main street of the Huron County village, didn't look like much when they first saw it, Le Clair admits, displaying “before” photographs of nondescript rooms and hallways. But the couple – both enthusiastic decorators and creators – saw potential. Left Top: The loft's living room is anchored by a gas fireplace, flanked by original windows overlooking the street. Left Centre: Timber post-and-beam dividers visually separate the kitchen area from the living room.
This photo: The front of the kitchen's pantry cupboard is fashioned from salvaged antique doors. The island is also built from old doors and topped with a pine counter. 8
This photo: A blanket box rescued from a Toronto ravine serves as a living-room coffee table. A television is tucked away in a wooden corner cupboard.
As they began to peel away layers of drywall and plaster, the building's true heritage character emerged. On one side they discovered an original brick wall that now blends flawlessly with their eclectic inventory that includes Le Clair's reproduction furnishings and Mitchell's handmade teddy bears, and hooked rugs and pillows. Their passion for antiques and rustic charm influenced the living area they created above the store. An original open space became the living room and kitchen while a two-storey rear addition they built accommodates a bathroom and a bedroom, and forms a ground-floor workshop for Le Clair. When they stripped away the second-floor walls, Le Clair says they expected to find brick, similar to the ground floor, but instead discovered lath. They liked the texture and decided to leave it exposed. As well, he says, “there's tongue-and-groove ceilings and floors throughout the original space.” Reluctant to break up the open-plan design with walls, the couple used timber-frame post-and-beam dividers – constructed by Mitchell's son, Alex Oke, owner of Okewood Timberworks in Brussels – to delineate the areas. In the living room, a gas fireplace is flanked by original windows overlooking the street. A comfy couch and chairs with plentiful cushions provide a restful place for relaxing. The space is peppered with antiques and salvaged items – an old blanket box, rescued from a Toronto ravine, now the coffee table; an old-fashioned post office mail sorter filled with wooden block letters, and a vintage apple orchard ladder leaning in a corner.
Below: The bedroom has a second gas fireplace and a reading nook tucked behind an armoire. Bottom: Paul Le Clair built a stone feature wall in the bedroom and a headboard fashioned from an old architectural peak.
Above: A claw-foot tub in the bathroom fits perfectly with the rustic ambiance.
Commitment • Integrity • Loyalty Les Coulter, Sales Representative
519.673.7183 Sutton Group Preferred Realty Inc., Brokerage
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The kitchen's centre island was built from doors that came from an old house, topped with a pine counter and a deep stainless steel sink. Two salvaged antique doors – complete with original paint and screens – as a front for a I’mprovided thinkinginspiration if you could cupboard. The pantry is flanked by justpantry leave everything the a refrigerator – which looks as if it could same and replace all have come from the '50s but is actually info about Classic and new from Elmira Stoveworks – and an replace with the white 80-year-old electric stove that Le Clair logo and info I will attach says still “works like a charm and Gillian thedoesn't Company webpage want to part with.” for Reference.The old ad The bathroom, with its freestanding hasclaw-foot the Company phone tub, connects the kitchen to the andbedroom. fax #. That won’t be Le Clair “It's new, acrylic,” nessesary Justgoing the toformal says. “I wasn't carry a cast-iron name and info. I tub up those stairs!”look forward to Mitchell a proof-thanks There, and Le Clair have as created alwaysa cosy retreat that carries on the -- rustic ambiance with a second gas fireplace and reading nook. The bed is set against a stone wall, which Le Clair built by adhering flat-backed stones to a plywood base; it's something he's particularly proud of. He also built the sliding barn door that separates the bedroom from the bathroom. Below: Next to the basin, a towel holder is made from a clothes hanger.
LIFESTYLE 11 3/5/13 11:25:45 AM
For everything under foot and then some.
Above: The ground floor of the building houses The Pine Sampler where Le Clair and Mitchell market their creations.
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The bed's headboard is fashioned from an old architectural peak with veranda columns cut down for the footboard. French doors lead to a diminutive balcony, with a couple of bistro chairs, overlooking the couple's newest addition, a backyard garden oasis. Previously a shuffleboard court, the backyard is now enclosed with wood fencing and landscaped with gardens full of flowers and shrubbery, and a pebble walkway lined with stacked stones. Oke Timberworks built a pergola, which echoes the interior post-and-beam construction, where wicker patio furniture provides a perfect place to enjoy the outdoors. Le Clair and Mitchell have put the retreat they've created on the market. Le Clair says, at this stage of life, he's “ready to retire and just build my furniture in my garage and shop it around to area retailers.” The space, he says, will attract “a unique buyer who appreciates this atmosphere. It would be ideal for an artist, who could use the lower level as a studio/gallery to display their work. And,” he adds, “for someone who likes the look, it's ready to move in.” Below: The couple's backyard retreat features landscaped gardens, a pebble walkway and a relaxing seating area in the pergola.
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By Heather Toskan Summer beckons with the promise of sunny rays, warm days and time for fun and relaxation. Planning a wardrobe around clothes that are stylish and comfortable can be one of summer's many pleasures, whether one's plans include special social occasions, relaxing close to home, or travelling. “Clothes made of materials such as polyester, rayon, cotton and linen are comfortable. They're great for travelling and can be easily dressed up or down to suit casual and dressy occasions,” says Marian Bentley of Sara Sohan in London's Cherryhill Village Mall. According to Bentley, no matter what your plans or destination, fashionable “must-haves” include body-skimming dresses, tunics with co-ordinating leggings, Capri leggings and pants that go the distance.
This photo: Shown is a dress set in pink, white and coral from the Dolcezza summer 2013 collection. Page 5: White pants, lime dress and lime loose-knit sweater are from the summer 2013 Kokomarina by Antoine Coelenbier collection. All fashions shown are available at Sara Sohan in London. Fashions shown may not be available by the time Lifestyle is published. Please call the retailer to inquire about availability.
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Above: Burst into summer with a graphic print dress popping with colour. This sleeveless dress features an angle-pleat torso and cowel neckline. This dress is from the Dolcezza summer 2013 collection.
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Texture, pattern, colour and print all play a role in creating stand-out summer silhouettes, which include dresses and tops with scoop necklines, cap sleeves and variations on high-low and asymmetric hemlines. Vibrant tops in shades such as lime, coral, turquoise and orange look fresh and pair well with free-flowing white pants and other bottoms. For those who prefer to wear neutral hues, shades of pale sand, grey and off-white offer stylish options. Patterns are popular and range in style from sporty to polished. “A brightly coloured stretch-knit abstract print dress looks sleek and polished for dressy occasions with the addition of some colourful jewellery, a dressy bag and shoes,” says Bentley.
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Above: White pants, coral sleeveless dress and coral crop jacket are from the summer 2013 Kokomarina by Antoine Coelenbier collection.
Stripes offer a sportier look and, if you wish, you can simply follow the lead of many fashion designers by choosing to mix and match stripes and patterns. “There's no need to be too matchymatchy,” notes Bentley. Tops and dresses are often fashioned from textured, crinkly materials and feature further textural interest by way of origami-inspired knots and folds, and tie and wrap styling.
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“Clothes made of materials such as polyester, rayon, cotton and linen are comfortable. They’re great for travelling and can be easily dressed up or down to suit casual and dressy occassions.” - Marian Bentley
“Many textured fabrics are washable and lightweight. They travel and wear well with minimal wrinkling, feel cool when the temperature soars and are easily layered,” Bentley notes. Lightweight, open-weave soft linen and cotton toppers add a layer of warmth on cool days or breezy nights and also provide that little bit of extra coverage on bare arms which many women appreciate. Many will also appreciate the figure flattery that longer T-shirts and tops that fall stylishly longer at the back provide. Longer tops and at-the-knee-length dresses can also do double duty as tunics, paired with flowing white pants or Capris. JULY/AUGUST
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BUILDING CHARACTER A PORT BRUCE HOME IS INFUSED WITH THE PERSONALITIES OF ITS OWNERS By Ellen Ashton-Haiste When Keith Hunt says the Port Bruce home he built for Doug Singbush and Susan Jarmain is “full of character,” he's not just talking about the style, the decor or even the location, just metres from the Lake Erie shoreline. He's also talking about the character of the owners, who brought their creativity and diverse talents – Singbush as an engineer and Jarmain as an artist – to the project. Jarmain drew the plans for the house and constructed a scale model to ensure the spaces worked. “When I came in they already had the design and the model. That was unusual for me,” says Hunt, who owns Keith Hunt Construction in Aylmer. “So to make it work structurally was our challenge.”
Above: The Singbush/Jarmain home features the clean lines and boxy style that the couple is partial to, and incorporates a flat roof. Right Top: The open-concept living room has a wall of pine bookshelves and opens to a stone patio. Right Bottom: Kitchen cabinets were built with antique pine boards. Open shelves display the couple's dish collection. JULY/AUGUST
Jarmain and Singbush were no strangers to creating a home. Several years ago, they restored a nearby 1850s Greek revival home, still in its original condition with no plumbing or electricity. They kept it authentic, retaining original materials or sourcing period items from a local salvage dealer. Their new project was at the opposite end of the spectrum – building a new, modern home. While Jarmain is adamant that “a restoration must be authentic and a new home must be modern in design,” the couple did import some heritage elements. They used pine boards from their restoration to build the kitchen cabinets and sourced solid wood 1850svintage doors. A closet is enclosed by reclaimed wood shutters, stripped of layers of paint but with nail holes from previous use still evident. “It's part of their history,” Jarmain says.
Above: Natural light is conveyed into the master bedroom from a ceiling solar panel and large windows that overlook the Lake Erie shoreline. Far Left: The second-floor bathroom has an open shower with sidelight windows containing coloured glass to mirror the hues of the lake and sky. Left: Jarmain used beach glass to create decorative patterns in the backsplash of the upstairs bathroom, which features a travertine marble counter and basin.
519-245-6252 Call us for Driveways, Patios,Walkways, Porches, Pool Decks, Garage Floors and many other outdoor applications. 20 Akko_3H_MJ13.indd LIFESTYLE J1ULY/AUGUST 2013
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The home's modern features are eq-CatandHouse_12th_JA13.indd ually striking, beginning with its shape which resembles a series of building blocks set together and topped with a flat roof. The second-floor block rises SINCE 1990 from the centre front section. Jarmain says she likes “the simplicity and the boxy style.” The house, with no basement, is set on a concrete slab. The exterior walls are concrete, clad in stucco. The main floor's polished concrete floor features radiant heating.
6/2/13 10:43:53 PM
Above: In front of the home, the couple has planted several gardens of flowers, trees and shrubbery.
“I like the simplicity and the boxy style.” - Susan Jarmain
The design and construction make the home “dreamily comfortable,” Jarmain says. When the 80-kilometre-an-hour winter winds sweep across the lake, the couple watches the outside fury in cosy comfort. “We don't hear the storms. It's amazing. Winter is way less of a threat,” Jarmain says. Inside, the front foyer opens to an office and a barbecue patio that links the main living area to Jarmain's studio along the western end of the home. The studio features a bank of north-facing windows, which she says is the best light to work with. The windows overlook the front lawn, with a pond and several gardens where the couple has planted trees and shrubbery.
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Tight space? Poorly built addition? Come see how Covenant overcame it all. This one bedroom old south home had just a small opening to the 128 sq. ft. kitchen “addition”. Craig Hardy along with Erika Friesen, expertly designed the space to maximize function, storage and light. After rebuilding much of the structure, adding vaulted ceilings and a skylight, we opened the wall to the diningroom with a properly engineered structural beam and the space was ready for the custom cabinets. The burled walnut island was shaped to provide access to the side entrance and basement. Additional storage was created above the sink range hood and again with an appliance garage, and a storage system by the back stairs. With a nod to the traditional elements of Old South, this modern kitchen is ready to function in todays busy world. Contact our professional team to assist in transforming your home!
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Above: Although they love wood fires, the couple opted for a cleaner and more convenient gas fireplace in the living room.
The living area encompasses an openconcept kitchen, dining area and living room with large windows overlooking the lake. The kitchen's antique pine cabinets are topped with a counter of leathered quartz, which Singbush says they chose because they didn't want it to be shiny. The couple opted for open shelving to display their dish collection. A recessed pantry will eventually be hidden behind a sliding door but they're waiting to find just the right material. “When I came in they already had the design and the model. That was unusual for me. So to make it work structurally was our challenge.” - Keith Hunt
A hallway off the kitchen/living room leads to the bathroom and a study/TV room that doubles as a guest bedroom. The study and the living room open to a patio with a stacked stone wall and waterfall. Jarmain employed her artistic talent, using beach glass to create the floor in the main bathroom and to apply decorative patterns to the backsplash and shower in the upstairs bathroom. She also installed coloured glass panels in shades of blues, pinks and mauves in two sidelight windows flanking the shower upstairs to mirror the hues of the lake and sky. The second floor also includes the master bedroom and laundry facilities, tucked into a closet.
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MUSEUM LONDON Museum London is Southwestern Ontario's leading establishment for the collection and presentation of visual art and material culture. Through public and educational programming, special events and exhibitions, Museum London strives to promote the knowledge and enjoyment of regional art, culture and history. At the heart of a great museum is its collection and Museum London is proud to have one of Canada's most important art collections, and one of the most significant historical artifact collections in Ontario. Their art collection has more than 5,000 regional and Canadian works and their 25,000 artifacts reflect the history of the City of London as an important regional urban centre in Southwestern Ontario. Museum London was established in 1940, operating from the London Public Library until 1980 when architect Raymond Moriyama was commissioned to design its current home at the forks of the Thames River in downtown London.
INNUIT GALLERY Discover the finest Inuit and North American Aboriginal art. Celebrating 27 years of excellence, they specialize in carvings in stone, whalebone and antler, as well as Inuit prints, jewellery, and paintings.
On September 9, 1901 the New Grand Opera House welcomed its first patrons. Men in elegant evening attire and women in rich gowns took their seats for the opening night performance of the popular melodrama Way Down East. As they applauded that night, the audience did not know they were establishing a century-long tradition. One hundred and twelve years later, The Grand Theatre is still a cultural icon in London and is recognized nationally as a cultural leader. The theatre is an excellent example of the proscenium arch theatre and is one of the more traditional forms of theatrical design; it was designed to send music and sound from the stage into the audience. The Grand is committed to producing some of the best professional live theatre in Canada and to enriching, engaging, entertaining and transforming the lives of the members of its community. With its MainStage, UnderGrand and Theatre for Young Audiences performances, the theatre takes great pride in providing world-class entertainment to London and Southwestern Ontario residents each season from September to May. It was Toronto entrepreneur Ambrose Small who built the theatre and operated it until his mysterious disappearance on December 2, 1919. That day, Mr. Small deposited one million dollars in a Toronto bank account, lunched with his wife and was never seen again. Weeks after his disappearance, the night watchman swore he saw Mr. Small entering The Grand Theatre. Despite this lead, police were never able to close the file. Many believe that Mr. Small's ghost still keeps a benevolent eye on his beloved theatre. Among the great actors who have performed under the magnificent proscenium arch of The Grand are: W.C. Fields, Sarah Bernhardt, Michael Redgrave, Donald O'Connor, Sidney Poitier, Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, Maggie Smith, Michael Burgess, William Hutt, Martha Henry, Karen Kain, Victor Garber, Sandra Oh and Leonard Nimoy.
LONDON’S TREE TRUNK TOUR The Tree Trunk Tour demonstrates London’s love of trees and enhances its reputation as the “Forest City.” Two carvers, Robbin Wenzoski and Neil Cox, have created sculptures that, instead of being confined to an art gallery, are on public streets. From tree stump to concept drawing and the final carving, it takes about four weeks to transform the tree into a sculpture. About 95 per cent of the carving is done with chainsaws ranging in size from large blocking saws to delicate carving saws. Detailed finishing work is accomplished with chisels and power rotary tools. The sculptures are usually painted or stained and are then coated with automotive polyurethane enamel to preserve the wood against the weather.
STEVE TRACY GALLERY Steve Tracy is an internationally collected Canadian artist. Discover his diverse styles at "The Biggest Little Gallery" in London at The ARTS Project. Steve Tracy was born in Santa Clara, California and grew up in Colorado and California. Steve now makes his home with wife, Gert, at his country studio in London. He paints a variety of genres but has become particularly well recognized for his Canadian landscapes. He also teaches art classes, conducts team-building workshops and does live event painting. Steve has garnered significant interest and international recognition for his unique art – with articles about his work appearing in numerous publications, including The New York Times – and showings of his work around the globe. JULY/AUGUST
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When Jessie Wynant and her husband, Larry, set out to build their Old North London home, they knew just who to call for design assistance. Kate Gielen, of Gielen Design, had worked with Jessie Wynant on two previous homes. Wynant sums up Gielen's expertise: “Kate has the ability to listen to her clients, to understand their vision and to make it happen.” The airy great room of the ranch-style home, with its palette of whites, offwhites and taupes – including a creamcoloured limestone fireplace overmantel – is an example. Wynant says Gielen started with the colour of the sofa fabric and the room evolved from that detail. The decor includes rich wood tones and splashes of colour in the sofa toss cushions. The kitchen is another area where Gielen's talents are evident. A bank of deep, wide drawers – all a consistent size – creates the illusion of additional space. To accommodate smaller items, such as cutlery and spices, Gielen devised a drawer that opens to reveal two shallow tiers concealed behind the drawer front. Gielen's solution for a blind corner separating the kitchen from the dining room and foyer resulted in a unique kitchen feature, Wynant notes. The back corner was squared off to create a display recess. On the side facing the kitchen, the walls accommodate appliances. In the main-floor bathroom, Wynant wanted a door-less shower. As a result, the designer angled a wall to eliminate water splash. Gielen also designed a 12-foot coffered foyer ceiling – three feet higher than the nine-foot ceilings throughout the home – to accentuate the spacious ambiance. She chose a dramatic black porcelain tile floor for the screened-in rear terrace. “It was a fun project,” says Gielen. “Jessie is a great client to work with.”
DESIGNING VISION KATE GIELEN TURNS A FLIGHT OF FANCY INTO REALITY FOR ONE HAPPY HOMEOWNER
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WOMEN ON WHEELS MOTORCYCLE ENTHUSIASTS SHARE A LOVE OF THE ROAD AND SPECIAL FRIENDSHIPS
By Ellen Ashton-Haiste Every Tuesday evening, May to October, a band of bikers heads out on the highways and byways around Tillsonburg. If you're envisioning leather vests, bandanas and tattoos, you're way off base. Think, rather, mature women, wives and moms. Six women, riding together for eight years, have discovered companionship and friendship along with the joy of the open road. Left to right: Linda White, Lory Woolgar, Viola Neale, Deb Beard, Janet Reiser and Wilma Van Vaerenbergh.
“It's rare and special to have a group of ladies who have stayed together this long,” says co-founder Wilma Van Vaerenbergh. She was bitten by the bike bug when, following the death of her first husband in 2002, she was looking for activities that weren't “couples” related. A friend was planning to take a motorcycle course so Van Vaerenbergh tagged along. “We bought our first brand new Harleys before we even knew if we passed,” she says. A couple of years later, she and another friend and fellow rider, Janet Reiser, were “chatting at the gym about how nice it would be to have a group of ladies ride together once a week,” and the tradition was born. Word spread and at its height the group numbered a dozen riders. It's since dwindled to six and Van Vaerenbergh says all agree it's just the right number.
The women have been riding together so long that they've developed a camaraderie on-road as well as off, Van Vaerenbergh says. “We feel safe with each other and we know we have each others' backs.” In addition to weekly rides, they take an annual road trip – “a girls' getaway, no boys allowed!” – on Memorial Day weekend in May. They've explored Ontario – Niagara Falls, Grand Bend, Collingwood, Lindsay, Huntsville – and New York's East Aurora, Jamestown and the Finger Lakes region. This year's excursion to Corning, N.Y. was the furthest afield to date. During the days, they scout the area and, in the evenings, treat themselves to comfortable lodgings – “we try to find someplace with a hot tub” – and relish local eateries and nightlife. While biking is the focal point of their socialization, these friends also meet for dinner monthly in the off-bike season “to keep in touch.”
Stage It with Jennings Design Resource Boutique
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Stage It is affiliated with Jennings Furniture & Design which, as a stocking dealer, has access to hundreds of vendors for everything needed to furnish a high-end home, from furniture and bedding to cabinets and countertops. The store’s long-term relationships and high-volume buying history give them a purchasing advantage and owner Renée Carpenter is passing along that advantage to qualifying decorators and designers, who can order merchandise at discounted trade prices from an extensive list of designer and upscale manufacturers. “When you resource through Stage It, you have the backing and support of a longtime furniture retailer who will take care of all back-end functions,” says Carpenter. “We offer hassle- and headache-free delivery to our warehouse, where we will unpack and set up furnishings. We’ll return damaged goods if necessary, and can deliver and set up accepted items in your client’s home.” The Design Resource Boutique is open by appointment to trade professionals only. Private work space is available for client and designer to meet and, once selections have been made, Stage It will provide a quote within 24 business hours.
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ou don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. That holds true for job interviews, meeting the future in-laws, or showing a home to potential buyers or renters. When you are showing a property, you want the first impression to be, “Wow! I’d be happy living here!” Home owners, realtors, developers and stagers can now up the “wow” factor by renting quality furniture from Stage It with Jennings Luxury Furniture Rental. “Stage It offers a continual supply of designer furniture for vacant homes that require a decorative touch,” says Renée Carpenter, owner of Jennings Furniture & Design, which supplies the stock for Stage It. “The option to rent new, trendy, high-end furniture for vacant and show homes is a new concept and we’ve been overwhelmed with the response.” If a home is not vacant, customers can choose to have it accessorized only. There is also an option to have the home professionally staged by Carpenter and her staff. Stage It can accommodate a range of needs, from small to large pieces, from one room to a whole house. There is an initial four-week minimum rental period, which can be extended in two-week increments.
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European river cruising has become the fastest-growing travel segment among the baby boomer and zoomer audiences. They have a passion for travel but, as they get older, they don't want to work too hard at their travel experiences. As they search out their ideal destination, they look for special experiences away from crowds of fellow tourists, along with authenticity, luxury, comfort, cuisine and culture. When the spectacular continent of Europe is being considered in one's travel plans, all of these features are easy to come by – but not without a significant cost. This is where an all-inclusive river cruise journey with Scenic Tours and Cruises fits the bill. Scenic “Space-Ships” boast cuttingedge new features including the Scenic “Sun Lounge” which, at the press of a button, allows you to convert your private balcony to an indoor lounge. Our ships also feature multiple dining venues including the River Café for all-day dining, Table La Rive – a six-course tastings menu with wine pairing – and our main Crystal dining room.
These elements make cruising the picturesque rivers of Europe a truly relaxing and enjoyable experience unlike any other. Scenic Tours offers a wide range of cruising itineraries encompassing the Rhine, Danube, Main and Moselle rivers of Europe, as well as the Rhone and Seine rivers in France and the Volga in Russia. In every respect, Scenic Tours – The Ultimate River Cruising Experience – is renowned for delivering unrivalled allinclusive luxury. All of our cruises include all on-board meals and beverages, on-board entertainment, all onshore excursions and activities, personalized airport transfers, and all tipping and gratuities – so there is nothing more to pay except for personal expenses. One of our passengers commented: “If an ocean cruise is like a convention, a river cruise is like a large dinner party. The greatest luxury, of course, was the balcony. There, in teak chairs, we drank coffee in the morning and wine after dinner in twilight, watching life along the shore. We had one of the best vacations of our boomer lives.” Discover even more about European river cruising from some of the most knowledgeable travel consultants in the London area at Cruise Holidays London, 1422 Fanshawe Park Rd. W. or visit www.london.cruiseholidays.com.
Railway City Brewing Company A new location gives the St. Thomas brewer room to grow Railway City Brewing Company in St. Thomas is five years old now and, to celebrate, owners Paul Corriveau and Al Goulding are moving into a space that is five times larger. The new 13,000-square-foot location on Edward Street will give the company expanded production facilities, more retail space, and a tasting room that will be large enough to host special events. Future plans include converting the tasting room to a tap room, and holding outdoor events, such as concerts, in the large parking lot.
Railway City Brewing Company brews six beers year round, and is perhaps best known for its Iron Spike brands and Dead Elephant ale – a tribute to Jumbo the Elephant who was tragically killed in a railway accident in St. Thomas in 1985. The company also brews seasonal and one-off speciality beers, including a Cranberry Pilsener for the Christmas season and Sham-Bock for St. Patrick’s Day revelry. Recipes are developed by the company’s brewers, most of whom come from a home-brew background. “They can be very creative,” says Corriveau, “especially after they’ve had a few beers.” Connections to the local community are important. The company uses local ingredients when possible, including honey from hives at London’s Windermere Manor and the Hunt Club. The company also shares spent grains with local farmers to supplement their feed stock. “The craft beer industry has exploded since we first opened,” says Corriveau. “We could see a trend was starting, but we didn’t know it would be as big as it is. When we started there were 34 craft brewers in Ontario. Now there are more than 100.”
Railway City Brewing Company is open seven days a week and offers daily tours of the brewing, canning and bottling, and labelling operations, culminating with samples in the tasting room. While no one will be turned away, it’s best to call ahead at 519-631-1881 or e-mail email@example.com.
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GRAND BEND & AREA
By Kym Wolfe
CELEBRATING AN ESSENTIAL RESOURCE
AQUAFEST Do you ever stop to appreciate just how fortunate you are to have easy access to fresh clean water? The fifth annual Aquafest, running from August 9-11 in the Grand Bend area, will be an opportunity to celebrate this natural resource. Organizers hope it will also educate people to protect and preserve the water that we may sometimes take for granted. Aquafest 2013 will kick off with Friday night's Eco Evening at the Grand Bend Legion, featuring keynote speakers Alex and Tyler Mifflin. Better known as The Water Brothers, the Mifflins' ecoadventure documentaries explore important water stories around the world. Guests will also enjoy musical entertainment that evening. Over the weekend, residents and visitors can quench their thirst for water awareness with a wave of free activities at Grand Bend's main beach and other nearby locations. Enjoy films and canoe rides at The Pinery; hikes in Port Franks with the Lambton Shores Nature Trail Blazers; children's activities at the
YMCA Youth Centre in Grand Bend; the annual water-themed photo contest, as well as the Student Art Contest and Show featuring entries from schoolchildren in the Lambton region. The popular Great Lakes Chowder Competition will be back, with restaurateurs showcasing their culinary skills as they vie for the Chef's and People's Choice Golden Spoon awards. Water is an essential resource and we are responsible for its stewardship, says Jennifer Mossop, one of the event organizers. With supplies dwindling around the world, lake levels at a record low and a growing global population, she says, â€œit is imperative we all do our small part to protect and preserve it. Every drop in the bucket counts.â€? Since Aquafest is a celebration of water, it will go ahead rain or shine. Last y e a r, m o r e t h a n 2 , 0 0 0 p e o p l e participated and organizers are hopeful they left with a greater appreciation of our water supply and the responsibility we all have to preserve it.
BACKYARD GETAWAY AN OUTDOOR LIVING AREA BLENDS RUSTIC CHARM WITH MODERN COMFORT By Ellen Ashton-Haiste
Whatever weather Mother Nature decides to serve up this summer, Jen LeClair and Bob Vanhouwelingen and their family are prepared to enjoy it, thanks to their new outdoor living area. The backyard of the Ilderton home that LeClair and her late husband, Todd, built in 2006 was large and lush but offered little shade for the deck and flagstone patio. So, when she and her current partner decided to put their own stamp on the home, a backyard makeover seemed like a perfect project. “We basically decided to bring the cottage here,” she says. LeClair's vision was to create a retreat that included modern comforts but with the ambiance of a cottage getaway. “I love antiquing but I also like to mix up the old and the new,” she says.
Left Top: The kitchen area includes a table and chairs that Jen LeClair painted blue, from local Mennonite builders. Left Centre: A comfortable lounge area features a two-sided stone fireplace with a television set inside a recessed nook, enclosed with wooden doors. Below: The pool and hot tub are surrounded by two-toned stamped concrete and wrought-iron fencing. A pool house was created using reclaimed timber.
The realization of her vision could best be described as “rustic chic.” The outdoor living space stretches 60 feet across the back of the home and encompasses an outdoor kitchen, an in-ground swimming pool, and a relaxing patio with a double-sided, wood-burning fireplace and a recessed television above. LeClair says she drew out her vision “in about two minutes,” and then set about researching contractors. Josh McBurney, whose Valley View Timberworks company constructed the pillars and wood ceiling, recalls her bringing “a sketch on a piece of crumpled paper” to their first meeting. When the project was completed, he says they pulled out that piece of paper and “you can definitely see that it's very similar to what she had sketched out initially.” McBurney says one of the most unique aspects of the project, aside from the scope, was LeClair's desire to use reclaimed wood timbers for the rustic ambiance. She even sourced some timbers herself from the farm where she grew up. They were used in several places, most prominently for the fireplace mantel. The rustic country charm provided an interesting twist to the project, agrees Allan Hunter of Hunter Home and Garden, who helped LeClair design and plant the garden areas. He recalls finding the ideal spot for a huge cast-iron urn that she wanted to feature prominently. Set on an armour rock wall at the far end of the pool, it now creates a focal point. He says it was also fun to create what LeClair calls the “secret garden,” an area along the side of the house where the couple's three daughters are creating their own natural plot. Paul Babinsky, of Rock Solid Masonary, who did the stonework – using product from Ferrell Brick and Stone – was delighted to create a woodburning fireplace, decrying the trend towards no-muss-no-fuss gas. It was his idea to set the television inside a recessed nook with wood doors to keep it
This photo: The outdoor living space stretches 60 feet across the back of the home, bracketed by a double-sided stone fireplace at one end and an in-ground pool at the other.
Above: The outdoor kitchen, with a gas barbecue and built-in cabinets, is used frequently throughout the season. Right: Homeowners Jen LeClair and Bob Vanhouwelingen are thrilled with the results of their backyard makeover.
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Above: A photo of the home before the patio and pool were added.
protected when it's not being used. Other rustic touches include a washstand from the LeClair family's former tearoom in Arva, a wash bucket for ice when entertaining, and a distinctive table for the fireplace patio, fashioned with a piece of reclaimed wood atop an old wheel well that LeClair picked up in her travels. Doubtless, the most modern element of the project is the pool. There, the couple embraced the most up-to-date technology to make “the right and most conscientious choices” for safety and the environment, says Markus Brunner, of Forest City Pool and Spa. “We basically decided to bring the cottage here.” - Jen LeClair
Brunner says these included opting for a new environmentally friendly saltwater system that decreases salination in the waste water, plus extra protection with four-sided, wrought-iron fencing. The pool also features LED lighting with multiple colours and colour shows. The pool is surrounded by two-toned stamped concrete. “Everyone who worked on it was great and we love the whole thing,” LeClair says of the finished product.
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SMALL-TOWN LIVING A SHORT DRIVE FROM THE CITY
By Kym Wolfe
Imagine living in a small community just outside the city. Your family is settled into your comfortable new home and enjoying being close to nature, the quiet, the clean air, and all the other benefits of living in a small-town setting. But you are also happy to be just a short car ride away from London and the amenities the city has to offer. You really do have the best of both worlds! That dream is about to become a reality for 60 families that will move into Timberwalk, one of Sifton's newest neighbourhood developments, as early as next summer. Located off Ilderton Road in Middlesex Centre, Timberwalk offers deep country lots with frontages of 50 to 60 feet. That's plenty of room for a growing family and ample frontage for a double- or even triple-car garage. “This development is literally five minutes from Hyde Park,” says Phil Masschelein, vice president of neighbourhood developments for Sifton. “It's a prime location with a real value proposition. People would normally expect a 20- to 30-minute commute to get a lot this size.” With prices starting from about $335,000 for a home and a lot, Masschelein expects the neighbourhood will attract second- or third-time home buyers looking for a mid-level to high-end home. The setting will appeal to buyers with children who are looking for a great family environment, as well as empty nesters, particularly those from rural backgrounds who want to remain in a country setting. Masschelein notes that the neighbourhood is surrounded by agricultural land, with the crescent lots backing onto stormwater management ponds. JULY/AUGUST
Above: The site plan for Siftonâ€™s Timberwalk development in Ilderton.
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The development will offer a mix of one- and two-storey homes, and buyers will have a choice of brick, stone, stucco or James Hardie fiber cement siding for the exterior of the main level. “The one-storey homes will be a minimum of 1,600 and an average of 1,800 square feet, and the two-storey homes will be a minimum of 2,000 and an average of 2,400 square feet,” says Masschelein. “They will have nine-foot ceilings and most will have a deep foundation with a full walk-out from the basement to the backyard.” While all home builders for the Timberwalk development have not been yet been determined, Sifton New Homes will definitely be involved, along with three to four other local premium builders. Each will offer different pricing and floorplan options, and clients can either select from pre-existing plans or choose to have their new home custom built. Sifton's homes will be Energy Star qualified, and Masschelein expects most others will be, as well. Ilderton is a charming village just minutes from London, with a population of about 2,000 people. Residents can enjoy nature trails, cycling and community parks, one of which has a splash pad for children and, in the winter, snowmobile trails and winter sports. There are also ball diamonds, a skateboard park, a local library, pubs and restaurants, and shops along the main street. Being situated halfway between Lake Erie and Lake Huron, residents can reach the beach in about 40 minutes. The entrance to Timberwalk is right across from the Ilderton Arena and Curling Club. The arena and local fairgrounds host a variety of activities and sporting events year round, including the annual Ilderton Fair, one of the largest country fairs in Southern Ontario. Timberwalk's sales pavilion will open this fall with the grand opening – including an opportunity to tour model homes – scheduled for spring of 2014.
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By Kym Wolfe
A tall ship crewed with pirates is just one of the attractions that visitors will enjoy at this year's Harbourfest in Port Stanley. The weekend festival, which runs from July 26 to 28, will feature three days of tall ships and musical entertainment, skirmishes by military reenactment groups, a beer tent, pony and midway rides for the kids, and a variety of food and other vendors. Harbourfest's inaugural year in 2012 was the busiest weekend of the summer in Port Stanley, says event planner Sharon Lechner. “It was crazy busy, and people had a great time!” “Last year we had just one tall ship and tickets sold out, so this year we are bringing in three: Liana's Ransom, The Challenge, and Fair Jeanne,” says Lechner. The crew of Liana's Ransom will be decked out as pirates, swinging from the ropes and walking the plank. Fair Jeanne will be anchored all weekend and will be open for dock 46
tours Saturday and Sunday afternoon. The other two ships will offer a combination of cruises and dock tours from Friday morning to Sunday night. The final sailings on Saturday and Sunday evening include dinner at the Wharf Restaurant followed by coffee and dessert on one of the ships where passengers will enjoy live piano music. Evening festivities begin at 7 p.m. Friday night with a free outdoor concert by two-time Juno award winner Jack de Keyzer, opened by Beatles' cover band The Beagles. On Saturday, members of the Royal Scots and the King's Company of Historical Reenactors will skirmish at Little Beach at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. A variety of activities for landlubbers of all ages will take place throughout the weekend at both the Berm and the Dominion of Canada building. For a complete itinerary, and to purchase dock tour and cruise tickets, visit www.portstanleyharbourfest.com.
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By Ellen Ashton-Haiste Building a new house might have been easier, John Hotchkiss admits. But he feels a connection to the home on John Wise Line, southeast of Aylmer, where he's raised four children over the past few decades and is starting a new family with his wife, Eva, and their infant son. â€œThe house just has a special character,â€? Hotchkiss says. So he and Eva opted for a major renovation that took the better part of a year and completely transformed their one-floor home. As they look at it today, they know the renovation was worth it. And, John adds, it all went seamlessly, thanks to contractor Arne Madsen and his team at London's CCR Building and Remodeling. The project involved recreating many of the rooms, relocating a staircase, rebuilding three bathrooms and creating one new one, turning an unfinished basement into a home gymnasium, and redoing the exterior. Top: The focal point of the kitchen is the 14-foot granite-topped island with a workspace and a raised eating area. Centre: The Hotchkisses chose wall colours, such as the rich red in the dining room, by reproducing the colours of autumn leaves they collected.
DREAM RENOVATION A MAJOR MAKEOVER COMPLETELY TRANSFORMS A 1970S-ERA HOME
This photo: Three rooms in the original house were opened up to create an open-concept kitchen, dining room and family room. 48
Madsen calls it “a dream project” for a renovation contractor and one that doesn't come along often in a career. While Hotchkiss says the overall result is “incredible,” he doesn't hesitate when asked his and Eva's favourite aspect of the new space. “Definitely, the kitchen! It's spectacular. You wouldn't believe it's the same space.” Here, three rooms were combined into an open-concept kitchen, dining room and family room. The former '70s-era kitchen, with its small windows and hanging cupboards, is now a wide-open space, anchored by a 14-foot island topped with titanium granite – black based and interlaced with veins of gold and silver. Hotchkiss likes to challenge visitors to “find the bird in the counter.” Looking from just the right angle, there does seem to be an image of a bird in the veins. A couple of kitchen elements are characteristic of the personal and family touches the Hotchkisses brought into the renovation. At one end of the room a mural of a golden, tree-lined, sunlit field is set in an arch, lit from above and framed by dark hickory pantry cabinets. Coming into the room at night and seeing the lighted mural creates a remarkable illusion of looking through a window, Hotchkiss says.
Right: Two storage benches form an entrance to the living room from the front foyer. Above: The lower-level workout area includes a steam room clad in slate with Caesarstone bench seating. Top: The master bedroom's ensuite bathroom was enlarged to include an air-hydronic tub, a double vanity and an oversized shower.
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The mural was created by Agnieszka Cukrowski, of London's Zamm Art Studio, from a picture sent to Hotchkiss by his daughter-in-law, a Los Angeles photographer. Cukrowski also painted a tile, that's set into the backsplash behind the cooktop, depicting a paprika rose, a flower grown at Hotchkiss's nursery centre, Riverbend Farms. She has also painted a mural for the new baby's room. An archway was created between the kitchen and dining room to allow a natural flow between the spaces. On the other side, the kitchen opens to the family room where a new stone fireplace was constructed on the rear wall with a mounted flat-screen television. The fireplace mantel is another nod to family heritage. It's a beam salvaged from John's great-great-grandfather's farm, south of Straffordville. Two sets of 12-foot patio doors lead from the family room to an outdoor living area that includes a barbecue and storage space built into stone walls, topped with granite counters. The stonework, inside and out, was completed by Mark Ross of London's Ross Brick and Stonework. The natural light through the patio doors and large kitchen windows is a bonus, Hotchkiss says. “Before it was so dark and now it's bright and airy.” Beyond the family room, two bedrooms and a bathroom were converted to a guest or in-law suite that can be closed off from the family room, something that necessitated relocating the stairs to the basement. The couple's bedroom also received a major makeover to create a true master retreat. The ensuite bathroom was enlarged considerably to include a window above an air-hydronic tub with a wide deck surround, a hickory vanity with a Caesarstone counter and copper basins, and an oversized glassed shower. This enlargement meant the sacrifice of a walk-in closet. To compensate, an adjacent small bedroom was transformed into a full dressing room and the
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entrance to the master suite was extended to allow access to this area. The main bathroom was also gutted and redone with hickory cabinets, a Caesarstone counter, double basins and a large shower. As well, the front foyer was raised to create a cathedral ceiling. Here, again, the family heritage is incorporated through wood beams salvaged from the other side of the Hotchkiss family, the maternal family farm dating to the 1860s. Eva says the couple chose the colours for their new space – earthy green and reddish browns – by collecting autumn leaves and reproducing those colours on the walls of their home. Another major renovation transformed the unfinished basement. This level's low ceilings were raised and plumbing vents and ductwork were re-routed to create a workout room. There is more family history here. The walls are lined with hockey jerseys in framed display cases, a nod to Hotchkiss's late father, Harley, former owner of the Calgary Flames. The workout area also includes a new bathroom and steam room clad in slate with Caesarstone bench seating. Rerouting the utilities created a crawl space and concrete flooring was installed through part of this area for additional storage. CCR also updated the exterior of the house. A front gabled porch was created with riverstone to offset the oversized front door. “When I saw that, I knew that the rest of the brick had to go,” Hotchkiss says. It has been redone with a three-foot base of stone veneer, topped with James Hardie fiber cement siding. The transformation has been beyond the couple's expectations, Hotchkiss says, adding that it takes teamwork and expertise to effect such a change. He particularly commends CCR site supervisor Larry Fenwick – “we came to think of him as family and were sorry to see him go” – as well as designer Myra Tuer. “She was invaluable,” Hotchkiss notes.
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REVITALIZING YOUR APPEARANCE ANTI-AGING TREATMENTS INCLUDE SURGICAL AND NON-SURGICAL OPTIONS
If the face staring back at you in the mirror looks older than you'd like, summer's slower pace offers the ideal time to explore the various treatments that can help you to make the most of your appearance. With many surgical and non-surgical anti-aging options available, it's best to search out experienced medical advice to determine which treatments and procedures are best for you. “I believe there's a considerable degree of confusion as to when non-surgical (and surgical) procedures are indicated,” says Dr. Robert Colcleugh, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with a practice in London. “Most often, a good result is achieved by a combination of surgery with the enhancement of nonsurgical methods.” 54
By Heather Toskan
Surgeons make their assessment and subsequent recommendations by observing facial zones that include the forehead, mid-face, jaw and neck areas. The texture and condition of your skin, along with the degree of wrinkling and the resting position of your eyebrows and hairline, all factor into subsequent recommendations. It's important to communicate your anti-aging goals so your surgeon understands what's important to you and can clarify any possible treatment misconceptions. “Sagging eyebrows are often misinterpreted as having too much upper eyelid skin and are best corrected by a forehead lift (surgery). Some forehead lines and crow's feet are best treated with Botox injections every three to four months,” Colcleugh says. “Crow's feet cannot be treated by surgery without considerable risk.” “Most often, a good result is achieved by a combination of surgery with the enhancement of non-surgical methods.”
- Dr. Robert Colcleugh
On the other hand, sagging eye lids and fatty pouches or “bags” under the eyes can only be truly corrected by surgery. Common mid-facial issues include the sagging of the skin and its underlying support structure which can result in jowls, as well as the fold lines that run down the sides of the nose to the mouth and from the mouth to the jaw. Wrinkles and fold lines of minimal to moderate depth can usually be “filled” with periodic injections of viscous materials such as hyaluronic acid until the lines deepen to the point where the surgical removal of excess skin and the tightening of underlying muscles, ligaments and fascia provide a more effective result. “The use of hyaluronic acid is very safe when injected, with results that can last up to a year,” says Colcleugh. “However problems have occurred JULY/AUGUST
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ONE MAN, MANY HAMMERS ARTIST SCOTT MCKAY
Old-world craftsmanship takes a modern twist in the powerful hands of blacksmith Scott McKay. From sculpture to finely fitted metal cabinetry he does it all, and with flair and aplomb. A full-time artist since January 2010, McKay's journey has been anything but straight and narrow. After graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography and biology, he certified as an industrial mechanic (millwright) and worked with some of Canada's leading diamond mining operations before attending the Haliburton School of The Arts and emerging with an Artist Blacksmith Certificate in 2006. It is perhaps the confluence of these different streams of education and experience that allows McKay to do the work he does. His workshop, aptly named Strong Arm Forge and promoted with the mantra “One Man, Many Hammers,” is located north of Shedden, about 15 minutes west of London. There, the artist works with recycled materials recovered from salvage yards and roadsides, as well as new materials such as mild or stainless steel. “Farm Sentinel,” a 78-inch-tall bird sculpture that is permanently perched at a country retreat south of Ottawa is made from recycled metal. The sources of many of its parts – the sawmill blades, the drill bits and the cultivator teeth – are evident.
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Below: Wave Form
Large: Farm Sentinel Above: Near Miss Right: Celeste
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Corten steel, also known as weathering steel, contains alloys that cause it to form a stable rust-like patina when exposed to the weather for several years. This eliminates the need for painting, which pleases McKay to no end. Although he makes occasional use of colour in his work, he prefers to leave it raw and unpainted. Of late, McKay's emphasis has been on “living space structures” that are useful as well as beautiful. He recently completed two such pieces, a workbench and a bar, for a customer's custom garage. This was precise work with tight tolerances and McKay relied heavily on his millworking skills. Tight tolerance, however, did not temper McKay's creativity. The finished pieces which combine stainless steel, checker plate and copper plate are rugged and aesthetically pleasing. The apparent dichotomy between his fine and his functional art suits McKay just fine, as does the fact that much of his work – the collaboration with the customer, the design and the planning – relies on brain rather than brawn. “I need that balance in my life,” he says. McKay draws influence from his surroundings and from life. As a result of living near Lake Erie, his sculptures have fluidity akin to waves on water or wind across a field. The challenge when working with metal, says McKay, is to “remove the heaviness so people think it's moving.” Life as a full-time artist has been good to him. “I don't have a lot of finished pieces lying around,” McKay says. “They are going as fast as I can produce them.” He relies almost exclusively on wordof-mouth advertising to grow his customer base. Facebook has been a big part of this and he often receives referrals from other metal workers. McKay, along with 11 other artists, will be displaying his works at the “Art of Birds” exhibition August 6-17 at The Art Exchange gallery in Wortley Village.
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LIFESTYLE r e s o u r c e s Address and website information for the companies and/or retailers featured in the articles in this issue are listed by order of story below.
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